Saxophonist Phil Denny to host “Smooth Jazz Fete” in hometown

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – If you like jazz music Lansing-native saxophonist Phil Denny is busy putting the final touches on his inaugural “Smooth Jazz Fete.”

It’s taking place tomorrow at the Armory in Lansing.

Chivon Kloepfer sat down with the musician to learn more about the event and what listeners can expect.

“I started playing the saxophone in 6th grade. Started in the Lansing School District my band instructor said, Phil, you look like a sax player and so I started playing the alto sax and…“

Chivon: “What does a sax player look like? (laughs)”

Phil: “I don’t know… (laughs) cool and hip I guess! It was a fitting instrument for me, for my body size at the time and it ultimately became an extension of who I am, my personality and my voice.”

27 years later he’s still doing what he loves.

Phil has traveled the world, filling concert halls with music and awe.

But on Saturday he’s back “home” in Lansing for what he hopes will become an annual event “Phil Denny’s Smooth Jazz Fete.”

It’s an outdoor concert– at the armory!

“It’s something I’ve been working on for nearly two years and I’m really excited to deliver it to the community. We have seven artists on the line-up, just pretty incredible musicians that I call friends, Peter White, Marcus Anderson, Michael Manson, L’Renee, Daryl Black, Farnell Newton and, of course, I’ll be playing.”

Denny says smooth jazz can be funky, soulful, sultry and can incorporate rhythm and blues, R and B, Pop and Motown too.

“We’re going to expose people to really great music that is hip, that is cool, that you can rock too, that you can sway too, and just have a good time.”

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